The White House Flip Side, March 2, 2018
While we catch the most important stories coming from the White House as they happen, some minor stories and small details fall through the cracks on busy news days. When they do, we pick them up … on the flip side
Presidential Itinerary – the details
The president and first lady headed to Charlotte, NC to attend former Reverand Billy Graham’s funeral. The wind was so strong in the D.C. area that the federal government offices in the city shut down and the president took off from Dulles International airport instead of Joint Base Andrews. The only runway long enough for Air Force One at JBA runs north-south and the winds were direct crosswinds. Dulles had a northwest-southeast facing runway that made for a safer takeoff. Due to the high winds, the president and first lady boarded Air Force One through the lower deck retractable staircase.
The D.C. Beltway and Dulles toll road were cleared of traffic for the presidential motorcade making the normally congested route a clear, quick trip.
Traveling with the president were his wife, NSC chief of Staff Keith Kellogg, Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gridley and others that were not named.
In Charlotte, the president and first lady deplaned using the same lower-deck built-in staircase as they did at Dulles. The president was wearing a dark suit with a blue and white striped tie and navy overcoat. Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D), Lt. Governor Dan Forest (R), Col. Michael Troy Gerock, Master Sgt. Ashley Able and Airman 1st Class Jayce Bass greeted the first couple at the bottom of the stairs. The Pence’s had arrived separately aboard Air Force Two.
The president visited with Rev. Graham’s family before the service then attended the funeral. Trump and his entourage then returned to Air Force One for the flight to West Palm Beach. The group was joined by Rudy Guiliani for the flight to Florida.
Upon arrival in Florida, the president and first lady exited the 747 using the standard mid-deck exit and roll-up stairs as the winds were calm.
The drive from Palm Beach International to Mar-a-Lago was uneventful. Many Trump supporters were visible getting pictures and video of the motorcade as it went by and holding up signs saying “Cant fake Trump Strong”, “Welcome Home president Trump Protect Our 2nd Amendment”, and more.
A handful of protesters were seen along the way holding up signs saying “NRA Trump kills our kids” and “Russian stooge.”
The president signed an executive order that extended three executive orders from 2014 that were issued in response to Russia’s incursion and takeover of a portion of Ukraine (Crimea). He also sent the required letter to Congress informing it of his action.
The president signed another executive order and an official letter to Congress extending a declared national emergency pertaining to the government of Venezuela’s erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to anti-government protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of anti-government protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant government corruption. The letter states that the president believes the situation in Venezuela continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
The president signed another executive order and an official letter to Congress extending a declared national emergency pertaining to Zimbabwe. In the letter, the president says that the “actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons, however, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the UnitedStates. ”
American Samoa Disaster Declaration
Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the territory of American Samoa and ordered Federal assistance to supplement recovery efforts in the territory due to Tropical Storm Gita from February 7 to February 12, 2018.
The Presidents action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the territory of American Samoa.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to the territory and to certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Gita in the territory of American Samoa.
Furthermore, Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures throughout the territory.
Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Benigno Bern Ruiz as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the territory and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance by registering at the Disaster Recovery Center that will open in the coming days. Territorial authorities are planning an orderly process to assist all survivors and will provide details through community and media channels.
Recent Attacks in West Africa
The United States strongly condemnsthe brutal attacks in West Africa that have occurred over the past few weeks, including the kidnapping by terrorists of more than 100 school girls and the murders of aid workers in Nigeria, the terrorist attack against United Nations peacekeepers in Mali that killed 4 people, andtodays attacksin Burkina Fasothat claimedmanyinnocent livesand wounded dozens.The United Statesextends ourdeepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and wishesa speedy recovery to those wounded. These attacks only strengthen the resolve of the United States and responsible nations to pursue, destroy, and rid the world of those who commit such heinous acts.
National Consumer Protection Week
A vibrant economy, fueled by consumer confidence, is at the heart of American prosperity. Fraudulent and deceptive practices erode the marketplace, cost consumers billions of dollars each year, and undermine the well-being of Americans and their families. During National Consumer Protection Week, we focus on the importance of safeguarding and strengthening our economic health through consumer education and fraud prevention.
American consumers must be alert for a broad range of scams and schemes, including identity theft, cybersecurity breaches, and charity fraud, all of which can destroy credit, diminish lifelong savings, and erode financial security and confidence. All consumers are vulnerable to financial exploitation, but depraved scammers often target the elderly. Such fraud can rob victims of their dignity and confidence, in addition to their resources. For this reason, I signed into law the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, which increases penalties for criminals who target older Americans.
Imposter fraud is one of the fastest-growing scams today. It takes many forms and affects Americans of all ages, but the goal is always the same: to steal money after gaining the trust of an unsuspecting consumer. Imposters pose as bank representatives, government organizations, State lottery officials, first responders, Internal Revenue Service agents, technical support personnel, and shamelessly and cruelly, loved ones in distress. A growing number of imposter fraudsters claim affiliation with the military in an effort to trick service members or veterans into sharing sensitive personal or financial information. These con artists often convince people to send money or to provide access to their computers, which can turn out to be financially and personally devastating.
National Consumer Protection Week is an opportunity for Americans to learn about their consumer rights so they can make better-informed financial decisions, avoid predatory practices, and protect their families from fraud and abuse. The Federal Government, in conjunction with a network of national organizations and State and local partners, provides information and resources that help Americans avoid, report, or recover from fraud and identity theft. I encourage all Americans to take this week to learn about how they can protect themselves and their families and defend their personal information from the growing number of online threats. The best weapon against fraud and extortion is a well-informed consumer. Together, we can work toward preserving economic prosperity and protecting personal financial security.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the UnitedStates of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 4 through March 10, 2018, as National Consumer Protection Week. I encourage individuals, businesses, organizations, government agencies, and community groups to take advantage of the broad array of online resources offered by the Federal Trade Commission, and to share this information through consumer education activities in communities across the country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen and of the Independence of the United States of America the two-hundred and forty-second.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Read Across America Day
Today we join with parents, teachers, students, authors, and Americans of all ages in celebrating Read Across America Day.
Reading skills are essential for every American. Whether using traditional books or new technologies, such as tablets and e-readers, the act of reading nourishes the American imagination. It enriches our personal time, strengthens our professional lives, and sharpens our political discourse. A love of reading instilled at a young age is all but certain to yield immeasurable dividends over time, which is why we must continue to be proactive in promoting youth literacy.
Together, we must remain committed to uniting all Americans behind the common cause of literacy and to ensuring that every citizen receives the rewarding gift of learning how to read. Today, and every day, let us be a Nation that reads together. By doing so, we will continue to fuel the prosperity of our economy, help every child lead a life of purpose, and write the next chapter of American greatness.
As we celebrate Read Across America Day, and recognize the critical role literacy has played in shaping our wonderful Nation, let us always remember the still-vibrant words of Dr. Seuss: You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Executive Branch Nominations
- Lisa Porter of Virginia, to be Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
- Patrick J. Fuchs of Wisconsin, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board for a five-year term
- Michelle A. Schultz of Pennsylvania, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board for a five-year term
- James Edward Campos of Nevada, to be the Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact in the Department of Energy
- Peter C. Wright of Michigan, to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Solid Waste)
- Jon Parrish Peede of Mississippi, to be the Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities
- Michael J. Desmond of California, to be Chief Counsel for the Revenue Service and Assistant General Counsel in the Department of the Treasury
Communications with Heads of State